Universal Letter Writing Week takes place every year during the second full week of January, and it encourages us all to pick up a pen and paper and write to someone. This year, it takes place from January 8 to 14. It’s perhaps no surprise that letter writing and handwriting are soon becoming lost talents in our increasingly high-tech society. Text, instant messages, and email are fantastic for their ease, convenience, and speed. But nothing beats the thrill of receiving a letter or a handwritten greeting card in the mail.
History of Universal Letter Writing Week
Letters have existed throughout history, from ancient India, Egypt, and Sumer, to Rome, China, and Greece up till today. Letters were utilized to self-educate in the 1600s and 1700s. Letters were primarily used to provide information, news, and pleasantries.
For some, writing letters was a way to practice critical reading, self-expression, polemic writing, and exchanging ideas with people who shared their interests. Letters were viewed as a written performance by some.
Metal, lead, wax-covered wooden tablets, ceramic shards, animal hides, and papyrus were among the materials used to write letters in the ancient world. Letters have primarily been written on paper in recent years, both handwritten and typed.
In 1840, the first letter to be mailed with a stamp was written in the United Kingdom. The first postage stamp was released in the United States in 1847. Before the advent of the stamp, a person had to rely on his or her memory.
The very first 5-cent stamp in the United States featured Benjamin Franklin, the first postmaster. George Washington was featured on the first 10-cent stamp. For letters weighing less than half-an-ounce, a five-cent stamp was used. These letters were sent as far as 300 miles. The 10-cent stamp, on the other hand, was only for messages traveling upwards of 300 miles.
It used to take 14 days for a letter to be delivered from one city to another, even if they were only 100 miles apart. Despite significant advancements in writing materials and mail systems over the years, the craft of letter writing is on the decline. This week is the ideal time to write your first letter if you’ve never written one before!
Universal Letter Writing Week timeline
Queen Atossa of Persia pens the first handwritten letter.
Writing material becomes readily available as the paper is made from linen rags.
The first letter mailed with a stamp is written in Great Britain.
The first postage stamp is issued In the United States.
Universal Letter Writing Week FAQs
Why is writing a letter preferable to sending an email?
Letters, as opposed to emails, can reach out to people who don’t have access to email. Letters are often kept for months, whereas emails are quickly processed and forgotten.
Why has letter writing dwindled in popularity?
In recent years, letter writing has fallen out of favor as a means of communication. This is due to huge leaps made in technology over time which means people can now have conversations in real-time.
What are the drawbacks of writing letters?
Written communication is less intimate than verbal communication, so it’s not the best medium for conveying emotions, there’s potential for miscommunication and the feedback is not immediate.
Universal Letter Writing Week Activities
Write a letter
Simply consider who you want to write to. It may be an old friend with whom you have lost touch. It could also be a long-distance letter to a grandparent or family member.
Teach someone how to write a letter
You can go the extra mile and help someone else learn how to write and send letters. Encourage them to do it often and teach others as well.
Conduct letter-writing exercises in the classroom if you're a teacher. It's also a great approach for parents to educate their children on how to compose a letter.
5 Facts About The English Alphabet That Will Blow Your Mind
E in everything
E is the most used letter in the English alphabet.
There are more than 40 unique sounds made out of the 26 letters of the English alphabet.
The dot placed above the letter “i” is known as a title.
The least used letter in the English alphabet is z.
The most used word in the English language is “the.”
Why We Love Universal Letter Writing Week
It creates a personal connection
A handwritten letter has a unique feel to it. The sender is assumed to have spent a significant amount of time composing it. So the recipient will open the letter even if they are unsure who sent it to them.
Writing is on the decline
We have the opportunity to bring a fading art form back to life. That's because, in the age of technology, handwritten letters are becoming increasingly rare. According to the US Postal Regulatory Commission, the average American received only 10 pieces of private mail in 2017. Since you can send text messages or perhaps an email, writing a letter is considered too tedious.
Flaunt and improve your writing skills
Many of us spent countless hours in school perfecting our handwriting. Handwritten letters are your opportunity to shine if you're a skilled calligrapher.
Universal Letter Writing Week dates